Archive for : June, 2014

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Toni Davidson’s Scar Culture – A Review

Toni Davidson’s Scar Culture is the kind of debut every author dreams of writing. Already an established author in Glasgow, this book sees Davidson break into the American market with a bang. Scar Culture is a tumultuous tale of abuse, incest, and cruelty, delving into the past of two slightly disturbed protagonists Click and Fright. Their scarred past is detailed by their therapist Curtis Sad. Each of their tales unfolds over two parts in this exciting thriller. Scar Culture’s stark detail and compelling descriptions make it easy to dive into the lives of Click and Fright. It is not a novel for the closed minded – it will have you reaching into your darkest thoughts, contemplating the lives of the less fortunate.

Scar Culture’s first part details the life of an abused adolescent named Click. Click lives his life in the midst of a gruesomely abusive family, who lives in a mobile home. His neglectful parents, named Panic and Exit, are the source of the boy’s twisted thoughts and anxiety towards the world. All of his endeavors are closely monitored by his slightly obsessed therapist, who takes a unique interest in the boy. The second part of the novel details the twisted life of Fright – a boy molested and beaten. The narrative throughout Scar Culture is the obsessed ramblings of a mad therapist. Curtis Sad has twisted thoughts of his own, so is he the right person to be treating these twisted souls? He seems to think so, and he tries to treat Click and Fright using shock treatment and drugs.

Scar Culture certainly takes the reader to the deepest parts of their mind. The twisted Curtis Sad will have you on the edge of your seat with his approaches to therapy, some of which include hallucinogenic drugs that are supposed to make Click and Fright remember the most gruesome details of the abuse they have suffered. Toni Davidson delivers a thriller that is sure to leave readers questioning their neighbors, and maybe even their therapists. One of the best aspects of Scar Culture is the dark humor that is buried within the narrative. It is a stark tale of twisted minds, one that may have been told by a twisted mind too.

For a debut novel, Scar Culture didn’t do badly at all. Toni Davidson was able to bridge the cultural gap with this engaging and very readable novel.

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Possession by A.S. Byatt – A Review

If you have ever read a book written by A.S. Byatt, you can understand why Possession is a must-read book. The British writer is very observant, and gifted in her ability to mete out the details of a story with vivid imagination and belief behind every word. This is not a novel to miss. Even though it was written in 1990, it’s still a great read today.

Possession is a compelling book and a best-seller. It was the 1990 Booker Prize winner, and a book that should be on the list of titles that you will read. The book was written after The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles was released. The book blends both historical fiction as well as metafiction together to provide an amazing read that adults of all ages will enjoy reading.

Possession takes place in the London Library, the Reading Room to be exact. It was 1986, and Roland Mitchell, a post-doctor who is working as a research assistant at the university- is looking through books that were owned by Randolph Henry Ash, a Victorian poet who Mitchell adored. What he discovered among the dirty book with dirt and dust covering it were two letters. He quickly recognized Ash’s handwriting. The letters portray a relationship, and not the relationship that Ash had with his wife. Mitchell, already fascinated by the poet, is determined to unmask the truth of these letters. Who were they written to? What kind of relationship did Ash have with this woman?

As Mitchell is unraveling details of his beloved poet and this unknown relationship, he finds himself in love with a woman by the name of Maud Bailey.  But, Mitchell wasn’t having any of it. His ‘self’ image was nothing more than an illusion, there were not beliefs, responses or feelings to portray. But this isn’t all that stops him from fixating on this new found love. Back home is a woman named Val. The two are in a relationship, if you will call it that, but neither are happy.

Nevertheless, Mitchell will embark upon a journey with Ms. Bailey, bringing the pair to live together in a tiny cottage as they uncover these letters with one another. But, as luck would have it, this pair is not alone in their quest to uncover the secret love interest of Ash.

Professor Leonora Stern is a lesbian professor from the US. She becomes possessed by a woman called Blanche Glover. Another professor by the name of James Blackadder, is also on the prowl to uncover this mystery. Mortimer Cropper is yet another man of interest, only his intentions are none too good. He wants to possess everyone and everything that ever had contact with Ash.

In the end, the truth is uncovered, but is it what any of them expected? There are a number of journeys that take place as they try to uncover this truth, and each of those journeys is written in the book to intrigue and entertain. You might not believe what happens along the way!